Not many years ago, a WSOP day with three events running would have been considered a lively day. These days it's a bit of a breather, as the WSOP eased back just a bit from its opening two-week push on Thursday. Two events began while a third moved into second-day play, with no new WSOP bracelets in the offing.
The single event continuing from Wednesday's busy action was Event #22, $5,000 No Limit Hold 'Em. Whereas Internet players dominated Wednesday's action — and the top of the leader board ¬— the tide turned on Thursday, epitomized no better than by early chip leader Dustin Dirksen, who lost a huge three-way matchup late in the day and exited in 22nd place. Karga Holt, though did thrive on Day Two, taking the overnight chip lead on the night's last hand when he dispatched the Hendon Mob's Barny Boatman on the final-table bubble. Mike Gracz, Tex Barch, Nick Schulman and Michael Binger are among those who will challenge Holt for the bracelet today.
Event #23, $1,500 Pot Limit Omaha, drew the noon-start time slot and a Euro-heavy field... that poker variant being relatively higher in popularity in Europe than in North America. The field here played all the way down from 576 players to the final 23, with the bracelet to be awarded today. Scott Clements jumped to a big Day One lead, but an important sidebar is the presence of Johnny Chan in fourth, hoping to capture his 11th career WSOP bracelet and forge a new tie with Phil Hellmuth, Jr. atop the career list. Among other notables, Eric Lynch is in sixth, Andrew Black sits just outside the top ten, and Burt Boutin remains alive, with a chance to be the year's first double winner.
The 5pm starter, $3,000 Seven Card Stud Hi-Lo (Event #4), drew the year's smallest starting field to date at 236 players. Exactly half the players, 118, remain alive entering today's action, with a tightly bunched field led by John Richardson. Scotty Nguyen is in second place, Marcel Luske in fifth, with dozens of big names still a viable force in the event.
Two more events begin today, as the WSOP returns to a busier mix. The noon start is Event #25, $2,000 No Limit Hold 'Em, while Event #26, $5,000 H.O.R.S.E., gets underway at 5pm PDT and is expected to draw one of the highest-profile fields of the entire WSOP. Check in at PokerNews.com's 'Live Reporting' throughout the day and night for the latest updates.